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Redemption Rate for Recycled Cans

September 17, 1989

As a Michigan resident who is visiting your fine state, I wish to comment on your editorial.

Several years ago, in response to the inaction of our legislature, the people of Michigan overwhelmingly passed a voter initiative raising the return rate on bottles and cans from a nickel to a dime. Like California, Michigan is a tourist state, and the litter from pop and beer cans and bottles had spoiled the beauty of our cities, highways and parks. A nickel redemption had proved useless in correcting this problem.

Despite doomsday predictions from the beverage industry, the redemption increase has been a tremendous success, both in the absence of container litter, and in additional employment of individuals to process the containers.

The soft drink and beer suppliers have benefited also, by retaining the redemption on containers that are not returned.

And last, but perhaps most significant, the poor and homeless have been provided with an honest opportunity to supplement their meager incomes.

Today, a discarded beverage container in Michigan is a rare find. Clearly, being for container recycling in Michigan has become a big political plus.

I suggest that the people of California, famous for their voter initiatives, follow Michigan's lead and pass a dime deposit on all beverage containers. To do otherwise will only contribute to the extreme filth I seem to find everywhere in this otherwise beautiful state.

DOUG HAINES

Los Angeles

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